Porl Thompson announces leaving the Cure, selling 122 Cure-related items and changing his name!

A typical day then.  Porl, who is now Pearl, has left the Cure and has put 122 Cure-related items for sale by auction – guitars, amps, effects, clothes, photos, memorabilia.  A statement from him reads:

thank you to everyone for all your thoughts and support… as for all the comments; good and bad! keep the freedom flag flying ; )

for those who do care….. i apologise if i upset you with this decision but i will no longer be playing in this inspirational band, (hence the auction;)

i am working on a lot of new projects..jewellery, music, art and mixed media; all of which will take time to ferment… paint still flows and my mind state is better than it has been for long while;

much love ~Pearl, formally Porl RIP xxx

Via the ever-vigilant Chain of Flowers.

22 thoughts on “Porl Thompson announces leaving the Cure, selling 122 Cure-related items and changing his name!

  1. Pearl, we love you and have enjoyed your abilities as a musician and artist over the years. Thank you for sharing your many talents and we wish you all the very best for the future. If we scream and shout the way we do, we’re just as scared as you. Bless you mate!

  2. Damned shame, have heard lots of Cure gigs (’92 a favorite, also ’05-’08) but never paid much attention to the band members’ names. Saw the Sunrise FL gig from ’08 and wondered who (and what) was playing guitar on the left side. Had never seen (in any form of media and/or attendance) other than Boston 1980 so hadn’t a clue since the band was completely different except for RS. Finally checked out film of some ’92 gigs and couldn’t believe it was the same guy, the alien thing (or whatever) is quite a transformation. I was definitely looking forward to more (fantastic guitar playing without a doubt) then find out he’s gone and probably forever?? The band without a keyboard player is probably my favorite, love hearing the keys lines on a nice screaming distorted guitar. Simon is the one and only, flawless. Jason is quite good, solid as a rock, seems to me that Boris was a bit better even, he threw in a lot of off-beat and percussive stuff that really elevated the songs. For my money the ’92 band was it. Maybe we’ll see PT again at the ‘final’ gig whenever that may be?

    1. Hi Craig – I fully agree. I love the Cure as a three or four piece, stripped back. I first saw PT on the Tube (search YouTube for “The tube” cure 1984 – see Bananafishbones), looking pretty normal actually! The first time I saw the Cure Boris was playing – he is excellent (and I also saw him playing before that with the Thompson Twins, but we don’t mention that!).

      1. Took a while to re-find this forum, didn’t mark it the first couple times but have now done so. I went back and looked at film and video of the 2005-6 gigs and PT looked a bit older but essentially the same guy. A change in 2007, then the ‘total makeover’ in 2008-9 (and the occasional understated approach for the big televised gigs). Got a reply to a post elsewhere that said essentially ‘it probably has something to do with the change from Porl to ‘Pearl’ ‘ and I thought that that probably summed it up perfectly. Before reading what is probably the answer, I was thinking it was PT’s tribute to either Wes Beech or Richard Wilson (the latter would make sense, considering…). RG is pretty good as a 2nd guitarist, but I haven’t seen/heard anything yet in which his playing is really audlble so I can get a good feel (the sentence isn’t over yet…) for how well the new lineup is doing. Can anyone suggest something good? Thanks! Almost forgot, something seemed a little weird in PT’s announcement re: his leaving The Cure. He called them ‘that inspirational band’. That’s pretty wet and dismissive considering how long he’d been part of it and, presumably, he had some good friends within the band. Maybe the whole ‘argument’ idea is true…? Normally I don’t care but when people I like start leaving bands I like, my interest either appears or goes up a little.

      2. Well Craig – thanks for re-finding it and coming back!

        Do you think that because PT is marreid to RS’s sister that it gives him permission to play fast & loose with band membership? I have a feeling we will see him back!

  3. I’m not sure, maybe being a brother-in-law earns one an unlimited boarding pass. Actually, I’ve got something I’d like to run by you and don’t really want to post it publicly. I was watching the DVD of the Coachella gig again and suddenly the whole story made perfect sense, it’s there for anyone to see. I can give you my e-mail and if you’ve got a not-too-personal mailbox somewhere I can tell you. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those weirdos…but all weirdos say that, don’t they? 🙂 I can lay it out here if you like, you’ll scoop the Cure world. It is speculation until confirmed, not libelous in any way…it’s just…gonna turn out to be true. Thanks again for the site, I didn’t realize how many of the different singers/songwriters/bands I like from the list.

      1. Hello, I didn’t see a separate e-mail but the e-mail you sent had a reply button.  Is that where I should send my comment?  I’d really like you to check it out first and I don’t want to post it by accident.  Craig  


  4. Thank you, I did receive it, and I sent you the information as promised. Definitely interested to hear what you think.

  5. Love the Cure… always have. only saw them twice in Zurich and Rotterdam as a 4 piece. The guitar work that made up these shows was first rate. Porl’s guitar was perfect substitute for the synch stuff.

  6. I love The Cure are food for my soul and passion of my naptime calm , but in my group will miss the best guitarist there is, no offense , but Porl Thompson is a genius , maybe I had the opportunity of my damn life view in Viña del Mar with Led Zeppelin in 1996 and could not be madita attend and when finally the Cure came to Chile in April 2013 , and my idol Porl was not and I can respectfully say no, no and no is the same without Porl on guitar , is not it lives rhetorical , but in the great concerts of the Cure has been the genius of Porl Thompson and it hurts me to see the changes in the band that you want it to be forever one, but difiniciones as enemy of everything can not be perfect.

    Estimated By Thompson , from Chile a long, narrow , beautiful and full of all the wonders and many people who worship the Cure country and worship you, grew up with you and your art, I wish him well and never, never stop fighting for your dreams , and you are great , today is a genius, do not have to prove anything to anyone , but never ceases to be the teacher who teaches others the art of dreaming is as expression .

    A fan and with respect to a teacher like you, actually I always wanted to play guitar like you, those gesture at the end of each note, take care much.

    Roberto Avendaño Chile

    Pta: Use a translator network, so sorry no English, finally is my thinking and feeling, I hope you understand.

    1. Beautifully said, Roberto. Porl Thompson is a guitar genius, but I think in the Cure he plays second fiddle to Robert – another guitar genius. But for my money they are both trumped by Danny Ash of Bauhaus – the most inventive and original modern guitarist there is IMHO!

      1. Well said, your message comes through loud and clear.  Hearing Page & Plant do ‘Lullaby’ with basically the same arrangement but with the words delivered slightly differently was interesting and pretty good too.  Before ‘Lullaby’ on the first night in Philadelphia in 1995, Plant introduced ‘Porl’ (he’s called Paul by the band and pretty much everyone else, the Porl was an affectation based on Robert Smith’s (mis-)pronunciation of Paul) ‘we’re very honored to have with us tonight a member of one of the most important and moving bands of the last 15 years from around the world, would you welcome from The Cure on guitar Mr. Paul Thompson’.  He plays his usual parts from the song.  The times he was in The Cure were the most interesting eras of all the different eras of the band and the albums he played on were the best albums the band did.  I got into The Cure in 1989 with ‘Disintegration’ and lasted through ‘Wish’ and ‘Show’ and ‘Paris’ then lost interest until I got a dvd of the Sunrise Florida show in June 2008 and suddenly got very interested again and went back and listened (for the first time) to ‘Seventeen Seconds’, ‘Faith’ and ‘Pornography’ (always loved ‘Three Imaginary Boys’).  Never listened to any live shows before 1989 but have done so since and pretty much all the different eras have great live shows, 1987, 1985, 1984, 1982, 1981, 1980 and 1979.  Seems nothing exists from 1978…Joy Division played their first London show opening for The Cure in December 1978, Ian Curtis had his first epileptic seizure on the drive back north.

      2. Almost forgot, check out the playing on the Rome show from October 2008 on ‘Underneath The Stars’, the tone, the effects, it is some of the best guitar I’ve ever heard from anybody anywhere anytime…Porl’s, obviously… 

  7. Porl is and always will be my favorite, very disappointed he left but for purely selfish reasons. Reeves is excellent but the slightly ‘industrial’ sound on his guitars leaves me a bit cold and the excess whammy usage does as well. There’s a bit of a hole in the sound now, reminds me a bit of when Perry was in the band (after Porl left). The solos are choreographed and fairly sedate. Porl could tear the top of your head off with no warning. Having Roger back was a welcome surprise, I do appreciate his work and have for years. I think with Porl being a total impossibility for the remainder of the band’s career, apart from an encore here and there and maybe a mini-set at the final gig, it might be time to concentrate on hearing all the shows I’ve never heard from all my favorite eras and just keep an eye on things from a distance. I had hoped my reservations about Reeves would resolve in my head but they didn’t. He’s doing a great job and I like his playing but the overall band sound doesn’t flip the magic switch.

  8. One of the great things about Reeves is that he’s a likable guy (that’s too close to ‘lickable’ for my comfort…maybe some other adjective will work, I’ll think about it) anyway, he’s a good guy, very worthy of respect for his talent and attitude. There’s an interview posted at the Berklee College of Music site and he goes over his Bowie days as well as his absorption into The Cure, worth checking out. There have been too many times where favorite individuals have quit, been sacked, died, whatever, and were replaced by other individuals who I didn’t particularly care for (to put it mildly) and my interest in (insert band name here) disappeared…at least until somebody else replaced the disliked member (if ever). It’s impossible to dislike Reeves (although the temptation is there considering how much time he spent around David Bowie) and I wish him and the band all the best. Looks like he’s going to get his diploma from RS and become an official member of the band and help out on the new album. It will be interesting to see what kinds of songs they come up with.

  9. It looks like I keep replying to myself but G&A thought maybe a summing up re: Porl/Pearl might be in order. First, I’m sure this link has been posted somewhere on this site but here it is again (Pearl’s new website)


    There are a lot of new/new-ish paintings, a little free verse and links to the websites of Pearl’s most recent collaborators. No forum, and no e-mail address. Very private individual apparently. I’m still not sure of the correct pronoun, so unless and until Pearl decides to lay it on us, I’m just going to dance around it. There were 1 or 2 recent photos on the site a little while ago but they have disappeared. Good ones, too. I don’t have any idea what changed between 2005-2009, what decisions were made or why and I don’t even care anymore. Speculation is an intrusion into Pearl’s privacy. Well, it is and it isn’t. Arguments can be made on both sides. Let’s say that this site isn’t the place to do it.

    The whole thing is upsetting for one (selfish) reason and one reason only: the consciousness that was/is Porl/Pearl Thompson is still very much alive and well…but the Cure guitarist Porl Thompson (who we all ‘know’ and love) is gone forever. And that’s kind of sad.

    Everyone has heard the stories about Boris’ and Porl’s ‘howling Beefheart jams’ (as RS put it) and Porl suggesting that the various songs that were worked up during the ‘Disintegration’ writing rehearsals be sorted out by the band members each ‘drawing pictures’ of the songs. That’s according to Roger. Take a look at the paintings and read the poetry on Pearl’s site. I guess Porl was kind of an old hippie at heart after all. (and that’s just fine)

    Big thanks to Darren for the photographs in the Cure/Strange Days. Hadn’t seen a single one and they’re really good and informative and sometimes amusing. Never mind the words, check out the pictures!!

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